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Pauls9cb

N France Late Afternoon 15 August 1940

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An interest in the 1940 exploits of Erprobungsgruppe 210 (Erpro 210) highlighted for me the lack of intelligence during the early summer of 1940 of how this unit employed Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4/B fighter-bombers in support of the rest of the group, which generally flew the Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter-bombers with some success from July through to early August. In many ways, the tactics developed by Erpro 210 over this period laid the groundwork for fighter-bombers in many theatres of war today, obviously using much faster and more advanced aircraft.

 

Uniquely in this early BoB period, Erpro 210 operated a number of Bf 109 fighter-bombers within their 3rd Staffel and these aircraft were regularly employed bombing targets around Britain's coasts alongside their comrades in the twin-engine fighter-bombers when they were often mistaken for Ju 87 Stukas, such was the regard for these dive-bombers during the German invasion of the Low Countries and France, as well as during the Dunkirk evacuation. Although British Intelligence carefully examined the wreckage of German aircraft that landed in Great Britain, it wasn't until the autumn that they were able to evaluate a Bf 109 fighter-bomber that had crashed on British soil.

 

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Typical results of this mis-identification was perpetuated in the well-known Battle of Britain film when the raids on the Chain Home radar sites on 12 August was shown as being undertaken by Stukas. These raids were in fact by Errpo 210 with one of the radar sites attacked by 3 Staffel's Bf 109s.

 

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Nevertheless, during Erpro 210's unfortunate raid on Croydon airfield during the evening of 15 August 1940,  one of the unit's Bf 109 fighter-bombers that had dropped its 250 kg bomb on Croydon had the misfortune to be shot down south of Tunbridge Wells, foorcing the pilot, Leutnant Horst Marx to bale out to spend the rest of the war as a POW. His aircraft, Yellow 3, crashed around Frant in East Sussex and disintegrated, leaving little to suggest it had been equipped with an ETC 500 bomb rack.

 

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Some time back, I decided to try my hand at a diorama depicting the sort of camouflaged aircraft shelter that was often used at the fighter airfields in N France. Having just completed an Airfix 1/48 scale Bf 109 as Yellow 3 might have been, I decided to recycle my original diorama, modifying it with additional figures and equipment to depict Yellow 3 being "bombed up" in preparation for the evening raid on Kenley - they missed Kenley in low visibility and bombed Croydon by mistake. Little did he realise it at the time, but this was to prove Horst Marx' final war flight.

 

Horst Marx and his Bf 109 E - 4/B "Yellow 3"

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Painting figures is much more difficult than I imagined!

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Pauls9cb said:

 

Some time back, I decided to try my hand at a diorama depicting the sort of camouflaged aircraft shelter that was often used at the fighter airfields in N France. Having just completed an Airfix 1/48 scale Bf 109 as Yellow 3 might have been, I decided to recycle my original diorama,

Ah-ha!

With the first photo I thought 'I've seen something very similar to this before', and now I know I why! I thought your first 'attempt' was pretty good, but this one is better.  A great little scene Paul.

56 minutes ago, Pauls9cb said:

Painting figures is much more difficult than I imagined!

.I think everyone will agree with you on that point. I generally get an adequate-to-good face, then insert an 'e' and add an 's' to the end of the word 'face' by over-working it.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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I thought I'd better come clean about the original scene since some eagle-eyed reader would maybe remember it. I'm a bit happier with the "story" of this scene but still dissatisfied with some of the less-than-human figures. Thanks for the comments though. Paul

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22 hours ago, Pauls9cb said:

but still dissatisfied with some of the less-than-human figures.

HI Paul

very neat, I become aware of Epr.210 when I read  Steven Bungay's "Most dangerous Enemy"  and his suggestions that they actually had the right idea...

 

Anyway, figures.  an inch and half sized figure blown up to twice that one the screen with a macro lens is really going to show up any glitches!

Though, may I suggest that the also look flat, from lack of shading.

While you can go all out and do what figure paints do, in 1/48th you can try using a very thin dark brown wash, which collect naturally in flods and creases (tip, turn figure upside down while drying for a shadow effect)  then dry brush the original colour over the highlights, and then lightly drybrush down with lightened base colour down on the highlight the top of crease

which is pretty much what I did here

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235002739-australian-infantry-airfix-132nd/

 

I have found Vallejo acrylics very forgiving for this kid of work, and they do acrylic medium, which can be tinted and used for washes.   

Get in touch if you are over my way, happy to give a demonstration of the basic ideas. 

 

HTH

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Hi Troy - Much appreciated. I know what you mean. I'd actually tried using some Tamiya weathering pigments (soot+rust) on some of the figures to see what effect it had on simulating the shadowy effect of creased clothing. Since this mostly adhered to the hight points, I guess it almost showed as a photo negative effect with the concave areas of the creases lighter than the high points, instead of the other way round. I guess your method would have worked more effectively but, sadly, by  this point, I wanted to see how the whole structure worked. Without the zoom effect of the photo images, it didn't look too bad, but I may revisit some of the figures using your idea when the ehnthusiam accumulates a bit more. With most of my efforts focussed on aircraft where most manufacturers today don't present their kits with crew members, I rarely delve into the black art of figure painting mastered by those who concentrate on figures by themselves.

On Erpro 210, I have had for some years now one of Eduard's 110 D variants on the shelf, but can't decide whether to start on this as S9+AB or the more local S9+CB which is a bit more local for me.

All the best - Paul

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